Sr. Mary Ann Walsh Of USCCB's Disgusting Parallel

Sister Mary Ann Walsh is Director of Media Relations for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Sister Mary Ann Walsh is also a perfect example of everything wrong with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Sister Mary Ann Walsh has written an op-ed for the WaPo's On Faith blog calling for the criminalization of any instrument that resembles forceps and needles, because they are like the instruments used in abortion. Cause that is the Catholic view.

Oh, I am sorry. I got that wrong. She wants to ban anything that resembles scary weapons cause they are just like forceps and needles, because they are like the instruments used in abortion.

No seriously.

Sister Mary Ann Walsh compares the support of a liberty destroying dubious policy imitative that will not save one life to the horror of abortion which kills millions of unborn children every year.

And...and, if you don't support this liberty destroying dubious policy imitative you are not really pro-life.
The injustice of taking innocent life lies at the heart of the church’s pro-life position. There is no question about the innocence of pre-born children. And Americans are becoming more and more uneasy as we learn of people on death row eventually found innocent of the crimes for which they were convicted. And surely, after the gunning down of primary grade children in Newtown, Connecticut, it is clear assault weapons stand out dramatically as a threat to innocent life.

The U.S. bishops now call on people to support federal legislation to require background checks for all gun purchases, to limit civilian access to high-capacity weapons and ammunition magazines and to make gun trafficking a federal crime. The bishops also want a ban on assault weapons.
...
A pro-life stance is a noble one. Sadly it must confront the ignoble reality of abortion, the death penalty, and another threat to peace and human life, the preponderance of assault weapons.
Frankly I am sickened by Sister's moral equivalence between the wanton destruction of innocent human life in abortion to the need to ban some cosmetic features on otherwise legal and normal firearms.

Whatever your position on gun control, this seamless garment approach minimizes the calamity of abortion and is destructive to the pro--life cause. Abortion is an intrinsic moral evil in all circumstances. Guns, even some scary looking guns, are not.

Are guns sometimes used to commit horrible crimes? Absolutely. Guess what, so are forceps and needles. Those forceps and needles actually kill people on an order of magnitude higher than all gun murders, so is Sister proposing banning them? No. Of course not. Because forceps and needles are just tools, tools that sometimes are used to save life or take life. But they are just tools.

I think the Bishops are wrong for supporting such legislation, but it is there prerogative to foolishly weigh in on such topics, even if out of their competency.

But either way, it is morally repugnant to draw a parallel between a particular policy initiative of dubious value and the intrinsic evil of abortion.

*subhead*Nonsense.*subhead*

Comments

  1. I could not agree more, Mr Archbold. As far as I know there is no prohibition of guns in either God's law or Church law. Personally, I am much more interested in the scandal and sacreledge caused by the refusal of bishops to enforce Canon 915.

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  2. The death penalty, the temporal punishment for capital one murder has been banned in some states leaving the victim dead without recourse to the virtue of Justice. Some capital one murderers deserve capital punishment, if only to prevent them from murdering some of the people in prison, doctors, nurses, contractors and the warden.

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  3. This is what happens when propaganda replaces serious thought. I don't support abortion on demand but let's be honest: The term "pro-life," like it's cousin, "pro-choice," isn't designed to generate thought but to stimulate an emotional reaction that activists on both sides can manipulate for their own agendas.

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  4. They are speaking the language of the secular, relativist, tyrannical elite in an effort to be accepted by them. They are playing their part in their master's game - and it is not the Divine Master. Trying to please and appease, they are losing their moral bearings. This is an example of the Church of America. There is no moral leadership from the majority of Catholic Bishops around the world who ate responsible for many souls going astray. And all the while they laugh and say there is no crisis in the Church.

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  5. "Each instrument may have a purpose some time, somewhere, but as used above, each reflects brutality in our society.

    The Catholic Church opposes use of all three instruments to take a life."

    I think you mis-read her statement. Only saying that the Church opposes their USE in abortion and death penalty, not banning them. I did not see any mention of banning them in her article.

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  6. Despite what happened at Newtown, which everyone in the world can agree was a horrible crime, rifles are hardly ever used to kill people. Look at hte statistics. More people are killed every year by other people's BARE HANDS than by all kinds of rifles combined.

    This stuff makes me angry. We have many thousands of gun murders every year, almost all of them by handguns, a large proportion of them to do with drugs and crimes, a large proportion of them young minority men. No one seems to care a bit about them, or all the people caught in the crossfire. Then some white children are killed by a madman and it's an emergency that requires us to -- what? Control rifles, guns, and ammunition for all law-abiding people in the entire country, which wil do absolutely nothing about the people who are in the most danger from guns. Get a grip. How many people die by guns in Chicago every week? Why doesn't anyone care about them? Why isn't anyone leaping to do something about THAT?

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  7. File this in the ever expanding "The Church cannot be forced to fit nicely with either liberalism or conservatism" file. Whatever our opinions on gun control are, we should be happy to see our Church continuing to flaunt our political categories. The Church has, paradoxically, been a proponent for "gun control" since before there were even guns, seeking to ban the crossbow in the Middle Ages, the Medieval equivalent of today's assault rifles. Was the ban effective? Of course not, but neither will be our stand against gay "marriage." Luckily, mother Church takes her stands based on moral truth, not some kind of pragmatic moral calculus. God Bless.

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  8. Agree with article. I'm very disappointed with the USCCB. Gun control is really none of their business. They should be speaking out strongly and frequently against homosexuals being allowed to marry. That's the battle we are losing.

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  9. "The Church has, paradoxically, been a proponent for "gun control" since before there were even guns, seeking to ban the crossbow in the Middle Ages, the Medieval equivalent of today's assault rifles. Was the ban effective? Of course not, but neither will be our stand against gay "marriage." Luckily, mother Church takes her stands based on moral truth, not some kind of pragmatic moral calculus. God Bless."

    Honestly, I don't wonder if this position isn't a hold-over from the Middle Ages to begin with. It is all well and good to oppose people having weapons in the time of Christian Kings and rulers that were at least somewhat beholden to the Church. But I would think the examples we have in the last century of completely amoral governments, that could not care less about the opinion of the Church, mowing down those who are inconvenient would at least give them pause before they advocate taking away our ability to defend ourselves.

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  10. Should say I *do* wonder. Auto-correct fails me,yet again.

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  11. Brian,
    Really?

    The title of the piece is "Catholic bishops: It’s pro-life to ban assault weapons"

    And they she says " The bishops also want a ban on assault weapons."

    What were you reading?

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  12. This is disgusting. To have sound laws that protect the lives of elementary school children does not contradict Church law. Even a majority of members of the NRA favor background checks. Why should a person with a history of violence be allowed to by an assault weapon at a gun show? How does that promote respect life morals? The laws of God do not guarantee an individual's right to have assault weapons when that decreases others' right to life. Unfortunately, some American catholics would rather follow partisan talking points over the UNIVERSAL sensus fidei.

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  13. @Nathan

    The canon "banning" crossbows did no such thing. It was a cannon forbidding their use in war by mercenaries against Christian armies.

    Traditional Church teaching is silent on the ownership of Firearms.

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  14. @Anonymous

    A majority of NRA members do not favor Universal Background checks, they favor the background system we already have in place called NICS and does what it is supposed to do in preventing felons from obtaining Guns.

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  15. This looks like the contamination of the Bishops' moral authority with the seamless garment where anything can be conflated because I felt like it. Yuchi! Bishops, please fight against things that are moral evils like redefining marriage. If there is a problem in your diocese, lead from the front there, Cardinal George!

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  16. Sr. Mary Ann Walsh ought to have come out for the Ten Commandments being intalled in the public square if she wants to reduce murder. Disarming the moral man, Sister is lending her support to the immoral man.

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  17. How timely. This came out yesterday. The American Catholic Church indeed.

    http://youtu.be/LRZQ399Ynj4

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  18. Personally, I would not mind if the USCCB were disbanded. Many times this group or their spokespersons have been in error or have been an embarrassment or even given scandal.

    When bishops care all about light bulbs or concern themselves over much with secular issues (often with no expertise) and fail to teach the truths of the faith or wimp out on pertinent issues or fail to keep the salvation os souls as first priority, the world notices and scoffs and it all serves to decrease what moral authority some still have.

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  19. Although the bishops are supposed to lead their flocks, it is not incumbent upon us to follow when they go off the reservation. This latest case is yet another example of a "social justice" misapplication trying to contravene actual Church teaching. They should be ashamed.

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  20. As stated above:
    "Personally, I would not mind if the USCCB were disbanded. Many times this group or their spokespersons have been in error or have been an embarrassment or even given scandal.

    When bishops care all about light bulbs or concern themselves over much with secular issues (often with no expertise) and fail to teach the truths of the faith or wimp out on pertinent issues or fail to keep the salvation of souls as first priority, the world notices and scoffs and it all serves to decrease what moral authority some still have."

    Unfortunately I agree. Since it's unlikely the USCCB will disband, I'd settle for immediate termination of it's entire support staff. IMO that's where a lot of the problem resides.

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  21. No one seems to be commenting on the other enormous error put forth by Sister Walsh, even worse than banning assault weapons: capital punishment. What the USCCB has been proclaiming - that capital punishment is contrary to Church Doctrine and support for it makes one a heretic or at least dissenter, is at total variance with what the Church has always believed - at least prior to the past few decades.

    The Church has always taught the state has the right of the sword. The Church has acknowledged capital punishment as a reasonable course for many crimes for since its inception. Just because JPII didn't like it and spoke against it - prudentially, not doctrinally - doesn't mean 2000 years of tradition have been revoked. I would argue support for capital punishment - endorsed by Aquinas and many other great doctors - has constituted such an invariable belief of the Ordinary Universal Magisterium as to be a formal doctrine. But don't tell that to the USCCB, which loves to conflate issues and muddy waters to pursue their policy goals.

    Hmmm....who else loves muddy waters, and messy moral situations?

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  22. I think Sister Walsh is speaking out of her competence here. Yes, some tragic shootings have occurred, but what should be done about them could use more rational and less emotional thought. Also, some historical perspective could help.

    Here are my observations: both the Newtown school and Colorado theater shootings were by psychologically troubled young men where the young men "should have been" put into treatment centers involuntarily. How to get that to happen seems to me to be the way to get at preventing this type of violence rather than to blame the particular weapon used. To my surprise, I haven't heard much about that approach from folks who claim to be seriously looking at solving this problem. To be sure, this type of involuntary commitment to a mental institution raises the distinct possibility of its own set of abuses, but at least it is attacking the core of the problem - which is not the availability of guns! If guns were not available, both of the killers in these cases were easily smart enough to come up with other, similarly deadly means to carry out their intentions. It appears to me that the only real solution is to get the mental health system for these types of people to function better, not the banning of certain guns nor registration requirements for guns/ammunition - both of which are trivially easy to get around for those who don't mind breaking the law.

    So as I think about why the big push for gun control I am left with a couple of predominant ones: shallow thinking or devious opportunism. I think most in favor of "gun control" are guilty of shallow thinking.

    That leaves a (hopefully) tiny but terrifying number that want national registration, because that is the first necessary step to seizing the firearms of some designated "dangerous" group of people, which is the necessary step before a pogrom on this same "dangerous" group of people is issued. This is the history of the Jews in Germany under Hitler - the legally elected leader of Germany at the time. Could that happen here in the U.S.? I hope not and I surely would not want to live through such a time. I just hope and pray that the tiny number that push gun control with the hidden agenda of a pogrom are not situated in positions high in the government. This is also yet another reason why I find it a scary thing indeed to see the ever higher ratcheting upward of government power over more and more of our lives.

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  23. Sr Mary Ann Walsh is by all measurement "one of the good ones". She is extremely Orthodox and has NEVER shied away from the hard issues. Obviously, gun control of any sort is an issue you disagree on. But before you run the risk of setting yourselves up as auxiliary bishops in your own Americath "church of one", you might want to check your egos and learn some humility. The only disgusting parallel here is you and humility/respect...as you are not showing any towards Sister Mary Ann at all. You really should be ashamed (as if you are capable of such a concept)

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  24. To anonymous at 2:49 AM,

    I meant no disrespect to Sr Walsh, and agree that on many issues she is "one of the good ones." That is why I find her published remarks on this subject disturbing.

    As it is, you choose ad hominem attack from an anonymous vantage point and thus reinforce my point that the vast majority of gun control supporters are engaging in shallow thinking.

    So rather than retreat in some strange definition of shame, as a servant of Christ in the laity I put forth my reasoning as to how best solve a problem along with the dangers I perceive in their approach, trusting that the good bishops and their staff are interested in a real solution more than their own egos and honor. I will also attempt to continue to be more concerned with others than myself, with the grace of God to aid me.

    Finally, the bishops do have influence with Catholic mental health providers that just might be the best, most direct solution to this problem rather than passing more legislation to further increase the power of a government that appears to grow more opposed to genuine Catholic Christianity as time goes on.

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  25. An anonymous ad hominem attack as a response to the appropriate questioning of Sr. Walsh for her outrageous assertion doesn't exhibit respect in the least.

    The best observation regarding this that I've seen comes from Matt Bowman at Catholic Vote:

    "People have been trying to add extraneous topics to “pro-life” for years, always from the political left’s agenda. Unspecified assertions like Sr. Walsh’s shut down discussion, and unnecessarily divide the pro-life movement."

    Also, if she is "extremely orthodox", her "orthodoxy" looks to be fealty to a coercive state that is rapidly encroaching on individuals rights and liberties including freedom to practice our faith.

    On this and many other issues the religious left, like Esau in Genesis, have sold their birthright for a mess of pottage.

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  26. Your USCCB positively looks like it's run by saints compared to the CCCB. Cheer up, it can only get worse, right?

    And what is with your country's obsession with guns? I wish you'd quit it already - 96% of all seized illegal firearms in Canada comes from the US. I'm all for anything that might stem the tide if illegal guns flooding MY country!

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  27. Carolyn, in that case change your laws or your law enforcement or your Constitution. We are a sovereign nation: leave our Constitution alone.

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  28. Certainly Sister Walsh has a right to her own personal opinion on this matter as do the USCCB. But what they point out on this matter is simlply their own opinions as a group not Church teaching and no Catholic is bound to it just like many of their views on the Environment. The Seamless Garment thing is a disaster in itself, but there is no doubt abortion KILLS MORE. Just the latest numbers since 1973 put the TOTAL number at 1.000.000.000

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